The Saudi-Emirati Rarely Heard of Dispute Reignited by Eid Greeting on Instagram

Published August 3rd, 2020 - 06:26 GMT
The Saudi-Emirate Rarely Heard of Dispute Reignited by an Eid Greeting on Instagram
The area assigned to Saudi Arabia in a 1974 agreement continued to be as controversial, especially as the UAE express the desire to have direct borders with Qatar. (Shutterstock: ihsan kamal - Al Bawaba)

Triggering border dispute amongst several GCC countries over decades, Khawr Al Udayd area, often referred to as the Inland Sea of English speakers, stirred controversy one more time, because of an Eid greeting posted on Instagram.

Translation: "Son of the Emirati president, Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan has greeted GCC people for Eid Al-Adha by posting a UAE map including Khawr Al Udayd, which is currently controlled by KSA."

A photo with the GCC map was posted by the son of current Emirati President, Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan on Instagram, to greet followers on the first day of the Muslim holiday Eid Al-Adha, prompted many mixed reactions online, as it included a highly disputed border area within Emirati territory.

Bordering Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, Khawr Al Udayd has been a subject of disagreement among the three major Gulf countries for decades. 

The area assigned to Saudi Arabia in a 1974 agreement continued to be controversial, especially as the UAE expressed the desire to have direct borders with Qatar, yet the Instagram post by the Emirati Sheikh, who is a prominent military officer highlighted the dispute rarely mentioned in mainstream media.

Translation: "Why post a map for an Eid greeting?"

In recent years, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have formed a unified political and military front which can best be traced in their alliance in Yemen and Libya, in addition to their boycott of Qatar since the summer of 2017.

As soon as Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan's official Instagram account posted the Eid greeting four days ago, social media users debated the different views of Saudi Arabia and UAE on the matter, questioning the Sheikh's choice of photo and whether it meant to cause the reaction it has prompted.

Translation: "Don't you dare cause trouble, the Saudi is Emirati and the Emirati is Saudi"

Responding to escalating online discussions, some social media users doubted that the debate over the Inland Sea would affect the Saudi-Emirati "strong alliance," calling it a regular disagreement that happens everywhere in the world.

Translation: "Khawr Al Udayd has been disputed between the UAE and Qatar, and when the UAE gained independence in 1974 Saudi refused to recognize the country until Zayed bin Sultan ceded it to King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, in addition to the Shaybah area. Qatar still controls parts of Khawr Al Udayd while Saudi has occupied the rest of it."

Translation: "This is an old map, even Yemen borders aren't true. You think you're smart enough to catch a mistake.. "

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